El que se junta con lobos a aullar se ensena.

He that he comes together with wolves howl he shows himself.

He that joins wolves ends up learning to howl.

Sergio said that your friends basically influence you a lot. He said with a smile and just the slightest annoyance that his mom constantly tells him this proverb as a reminder to never be influenced by his friends, something that he says he never is. However, he added that his mother who is Mexican (but whose girl friends are Salvadorian) recently picked up a slang Salvadorian saying from her friends. Apparently, she now says “pasmado” frequently without even noticing- something that Sergio can hardly believe and joked about in light of her favorite proverb. He said that he was unsure about the word’s meaning, but he thought it might mean clumsy. Mostly though, he said it was funny how the proverb he had just shared with me and this brief anecdote about his mom was connected because of her constant reminders not to let him be influenced by others.

This proverb is comparable to another Spanish proverb that similarly seems to warn you to be careful and smart about choosing the company that you keep. Like the proverb says, if you choose to become close to “wolves” or similarly unsavory characters, you will also eventually learn to howl, or pick up their habits both good and bad. This is a very telling proverb that warns you against losing yourself and becoming like your friends and those you associate with most closely. However, this proverb emphasizes the consequences of hanging around with the wrong crowd, especially one that can negatively influence you as you become increasingly like them and begin acting differently. It also seems to underscore an emphasis on retaining your individuality and also morally sound character. There is definitely a subtle underlying message that “wolves” and “howling” are negative; or know morally questionable people and their equally questionable behavior should be avoided and guarded against for your own well being as the consequences of their influence could only be negative.